HIAS Welcomes Closing of Holot Detention Center

HIAS welcomes the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision on Monday night to close the Holot detention center within 90 days.  Just days before we celebrate the Jewish New Year, the Court also rejected the government’s limits on the free movement of migrants and its policy of holding newly arriving asylum seekers in detention for a year.

HIAS’ CEO Mark Hetfield released the following statement:

"The Israeli Supreme Court today once again demonstrated that Israel's system of checks and balances uphold human rights and the rule of law.  The High Court ruled that it is a violation of human rights and the basic laws of Israel for the government to use detention as a tool to pressure asylum seekers into returning to countries where they claim they would face persecution.

"As we prepare to celebrate the most holy time of the Jewish year, we are proud that Israel’s highest court has upheld the fundamental right of persecuted people to seek and be granted safe haven. We look forward to studying the full decision but celebrate what appears to be a momentous development.

"In light of the last two High Court decisions upholding the human rights of asylum seekers, Israeli leaders have a lot to reflect on during the Days of Awe.  We are hopeful that this reflection will result in a concerted effort to fulfill the Jewish values of justice, fairness, and welcoming refugees."

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